Category Archives: No Clever Titled Needed

No Clever Title Needed | 02-06-2012

I’m alive, I assure you. Just trapped in this schedule of real life responsibilities and other online writing duties I’ve made for myself. But, hey, I’m not complaining. I could be waaaaay worse off. I like working. I just hate how bad I procrastinate because it’s beginning to bury me in all the work I have in front of me.

I updated this blog exactly one month ago, and since, nothing new from me has surfaced on here. I apologize. By now, my planned posts of Ultimate Spider-man nonsense should be long settled, yet I haven’t even begun essay #2. No fear. I haven’t given up. Not by a long shot. I’m just taking care of the priorities at the moment  – like wonderful school. As soon as the time presents itself, this blog will receive my full attention. I still love writing about comics. That shit still remains.

So where do I pick up? God, so much has happened in terms of comics. Ah, fuck, why don’t I just begin with some good old self promotion? I’ve been up to things.

I’m unsure whether I ever officially made the announcement here, but I am now an actual staff writer for I couldn’t be happier. Honest. I’ve dabbled in other site writing gigs before, *cough*PopMatters *cough*, and I can say Spandexless has yet to enforce a strict, tyrannical stance or tamper with my writing. Both Beth and Alex, the editors, are way cool, and seem to be open to anything I’d like to write. And better yet, they let my words go, only editing the necessary bits. I enjoy that. PopMatters completely rewrote shit and left my name on it to take the fall …

So, go check out a few of my favorite pieces posted over there thus far. Especially this interview I conducted with Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies editor Michel Fiffe in which we discussed process and his comic book Zegas. I had fun with this, and Michel is an ultra nice guy.

There’s also this review of The Black Forest, an anthology published by a Pittsburgh art collective.


I recently received a promotion at the college radio station I’m involved with, U92-FM, to head up their local music show known as The Morgantown Sound. While it’s certainly a radio show, Morgantown Sound also involves booking and recording live bands from the region for eventual broadcast. In fact, that aspect of the program is quickly becoming the main feature.

So far, I’ve had some success with it, and I’m quickly falling more and more into the project. As of now, I’m the show’s producer and receiving a pay check. Can’t complain there. More importantly though, I see this as an opportunity to actually have an affect on the local community and possibly build a hub for local music and add to the Morgantown culture.

There’s a great history there, and I’m looking to build Morgantown Sound into a living document of the city’s music scene, both past and present.

For now, you can check out this newspaper article I was interviewed for as well as the actual Morgantown Sound blog. Right now, it hosts a few recordings we’ve done. In the future, it will be home to much, much more, and I’m sure you’ll hear me mention it again.

Before Watchmen. I’m not into it. Here are my thoughts, which I posted on a forum after reading page after page of odd support for the project.

I’m going to sit in the cynics camp for this argument as well.

DC legally has every right to make this move, and I’m sure it’ll make them more money than I’ll ever personally make. That’s cool. I won’t even argue DC fucked over Alan Moore. I’m not subscribing to any thought that they slid their hands together and giggled as they signed the original deal. if anything, Moore thought Watchmen would be his after a year, and DC would have contractually given it to him if the book would have gone out of print. The drive of capitalism kept the book in print, though, so DC kept to their side of the deal. Moore’s smart enough to have possibly thought of such an outcome.

No, my beef is purely with what I think this announcement says about comics at this point. It shows that the industry has come as far to no longer honor anything. Nothing remains sacred. Not that anything has ever been sacred in comics. Ideas have been exploited for decades, but it seemed that even past that Comics had a little class to recognize and protect a few, specific ideas and works. Before Watchmen says that Comics has moved past that. There’s no longer any honor, not even a %. Instead, everything’s for sale, and comics is now entirely an industry rather than partially being one. In my eyes, at least.

I know. It’s cynical. it’s a childish stand to take, and I’m sure most will laugh as they read this post, but I honestly felt a bit sick when I read this thread because it even cemented the idea a little more in my head. No one cares anymore. Instead, everyone wants what they want at the end of the day. They want more Watchmen. They want sales. They want Darwyn Cooke. And it’ll all be justified any way possible.

And don’t even give me the argument that “comics are all about exploitation.” Yeah, that’s true, but I find it very sad when people seem to just except that idea rather than want to change it. Before Watchmen is just another mark in the long history of exploitation comics holds. And not just creator exploitation, but idea exploitation. Moore’s right when he says DC is running off his ideas from 25 years ago. Before Watchmen is completely derivative of something he made. And, yeah, he did make it. Sure, it’s inspired by Charlton, but I think Watchmen’s finished product stands so far from Charlton it’s its own idea.

And Moore’s not a hypocrite. Chris Mautner says it well:

“And the fact that Moore has frequently drawn upon classic literary material in works like Lost Girls and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is also irrelevant (although let me make an aside here to say that there’s a big difference between building a pastiche using familiar characters and motifs to create something new and original, and rehashing familiar material to make a quick and cynical cash grab).”

Basically, I feel Before Watchmen has taken Comics over the edge. The mainstream side of things has been dying away in my eyes for months now, and this has managed to kill it completely. It’s simply not a matter of “should they or shouldn’t” or even Watchmen itself. Instead, this is about something larger. Is Comic just enough cog in capitalism’s machine or is it the special, intimate, thoughtful industry we’ve all made it out to be? Before Watchmen surely says cog.

Later, after being called naive because I thought the comics industry was nice and rainbow-like, I posted:

It’s not about bubble bursting. It’s more about the acceptance. This seems like a clear instance where people could, understanding the circumstance of it, turn their backs on Before Watchmen. DC will publish it nontheless, but audience reaction will determine it’s success. From where it currently stands, it seems DC will win out.

I’m not sure if that would have been the case 5 years ago, but after Alan Moore’s code seemed to get in the way of everybody’s fun, people seemed ready to rebel against the old man. I guess this is the result.

I don’t know. The entire argument is dumb. If anything, read these two pieces.


I’m tired. Bye.

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No Clever Title Needed | 1-2-2012

So the year ended, yet here I am still trying to put a finger on what 2011 was. I don’t know. I wouldn’t call it a bad year, but neither would I proclaim it an era of good fortune. Instead, 2011 felt very much like a bullet point in the overall process of becoming whoever I’m fucking supposed to be.

Is that weird? To think of myself as “in development”? I think it is, but I do. Maybe just because I’m obsessed with “process.”

Anyway, 2011. I set out last January to push myself toward new experiences, jumping outside the safety net of a comfort zone in order to broaden my perspective. I think I accomplished that to some degree in 2011, but I feel I need to go further. Push harder. In terms of social situations, work ethic, education and whatever else. 2012 looks to only continue that longterm process I’m in the midst of, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll get out of R&D a bit this year and fulfill some sense of self I’m supposed to possess. Because right now, I’m still uncertain of who exactly I am or where I stand.

Fuck. I’m saying waaaaay too much, aren’t I?

Here’s to the internet and later regrets, and may 2012 not suck.

While this blog did not update last week, I did have a few slivers of content release.

First, there’s the return of The Chemical Box podcast with my good buddy Joey Aulisio. It’s something like an hour of Joe and I discussing Rick Remender, Jerome Opena and Dean White’s Uncanny X-force as well as Warren Ellis on Secret Avengers and even the horrors of dubstep and Korn. Give it a listen. More shows are in the works as I type this. Plus, if you just know me from this blog, much of my prior stint on the comics internet was in podcasting, and while I’m in no shape or form a better podcaster than writer, it may be worth looking into if you at all give a shit about what I do (I don’t see why you would).

Second, I wrote two reviews for First, a short review on a comic titled Man From Space. It’s not great, but there are a few interesting uses of color in it. And second, I wrote something like 1,400 words on Jonathan Hickman’s The Red Wing, his big return to Image Comics. Up front, I wasn’t crazy about it. For more critiques, read my review.

And third, I promise, right this instant, that you will see an actual blog post on this blog before the week’s out. While I didn’t write anything last week, I did sit down and map out quite a few future pieces I’d like to write. I’m hoping to do some actual worthwhile shit in 2012. Stay tuned.

SOPA. It’s a stupid answer to a legitimate problem. I’m all in favor of ripping the bill to shreds and flipping off the lobbyists behind it.

That said, I don’t necessarily support the outrage at Marvel over their support of it.

Ok, well, maybe I do. I’m cool with people boycotting the comics and taking a stand. I think that’s great. Part of me would like to join in just to simply fulfill that lingering teenage angst inside of me as well as take part in the growing collective feel of “fighting back.” I like that people, in all sorts of ways, are fighting back and no longer tolerating the shit they’re subjected to. Whether it’s Wall Street or comics, I like this idea of people taking a stand, telling The Man to fuck himself.

But here’s the thing. You can’t pick one scapegoat to carry all of your problems and blames. Especially not with this SOPA situation. To me, if you’re going to pick one media company as bully, you might as well pick a few or even go all out. Because if not, you end up a hypocrite. Whether it’s simply throwing DC into your Marvel boycott (because Time Warner is on that list) or even stepping a bit broader and skipping over ESPN or any Major League Baseball game in your channeling surfing, the fight’s bigger than Marvel. I know we like to paint them as our Hitler, which they probably are – I’m not denying that – but if you pick one enemy and not recognize the others, to me, you make your boycott and your “stand” a hole-ridden protest.

But really, not buying some shit Hulk comic seems like a poor, in direct way to fight a piece of legislation. Instead, I’d suggest calling your Congressman or signing a petition. Inform your neighbors of the dangers of SOPA. Get politically active. Don’t protest comic books. Maybe it sends a message to Marvel, but really the issue is SOPA, not Marvel.

Instead, boycott Marvel for some other reason. They’ve given you plenty. Me? I’m just some soulless fuck who likes reading Moon Knight too much that I’ll compromise my ethical reputation to do so. Maybe one day I’ll do right.

Buy this book:


Read this blog post destroying the Matt Fraction/Olivier Coipel Mighty Thor #1. Terrible comic. Wonderful blog post.

Keep smiling. Drink one for me. *end*

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No Clever Title Needed | 12-26-2011

And I’m back. Alive. Just glad Christmas is over.

Yes, I have totally been Scrooge this year. Or maybe, better yet, Charlie Brown. I don’t know, something about getting older and Christmas doesn’t necessarily match up. I’m in that weird in between time, right now. I’m no longer a young kid, believing in Santa but neither do I have my own kids and seep enjoyment through their excitement. Instead, I’m the college kid who comes home to mom and dad and quickly realizes how much he likes living on his own.

And my parents. Shit. They’re at the point where their one and only kid has stopped believing in Santa, is in college and doesn’t exactly want to be home with them. It’s fucked up for everybody. And we don’t really get anything out of the whole religious angle, either.

But, yeah. My mom did made a nice dinner. That was enjoyable. Other than that, watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was my one source of pleasure on this holiday. I never realized how willing that special is to allow its narrative to wonder and float. Clearly there’s a tight plot for its 30-some minute run time, but Schultz let that thing drift a bit and sink in. Whether it’s with scenes spent walking through the snow or odd, off the wall spotlights on particular members of the Peanuts cast, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is a very patient, atmospheric story. I kind of forgot how beautiful that special is.

Ah well. Links.

Go listen to the new Splash Page Podcast. Tim Callahan and Chad Nevett chat for three hours on comics, writing, “blogspheres” and whatever else. Honestly, it’s a new Splash Page. Good enough reason, if you ask me. Only the best comics podcast ever.


I’ve fallen into the comics of John Porcellino after reading King-Cat #72 for a review assignment over at This dude is legit. Self-published, serialized comics about life and whatever else. Oddly enough, if I were to make a comic, King-Cat is what I would want to make. In some sense. Laugh if you want, but Porcellino demands my attention. Once I’ve caught up on the pile of books I already own and have the money, his catalog will be mine. For now, here’s an excerpt from my forth coming Spandexless review.

John Porcellino seems like one of those true, vagabond artist types. Whether it’s reading his blog or this issue of King-Cat, you gather the vibe he lives both the life of a romantic and a starving artist – traveling, living on whim and creating. And even though he portrays his life in this comic as sad, depraved and hungry, I actually want the life this guy has.

Also, the King-Cat website. Here. Porcellino’s blog. Here.

Tucker Stone was interviewed by Tom Spurgeon. Read the interview. I don’t agree with everything, but it’s certainly one of the more entertaining interviews I’ve read in a while. I liked this bit the most.

Let me be absolutely clear: It is my choice to participate in these things — to read shitty web sites and get irritated by what people promote online and how they promote it — but the only alternative, the way I see it, would be to quit the job I currently have and have a consumer-only relationship with comics. If you write about this stuff — and I think you can take the modifier “certain kind of comic book” out of the equation, because art/alt comics people are as bad (if not actually worse) — you’re going to end up bumping into that part of the industry all of the time.

I’m just glad someone of Tucker’s caliber said that because it seems so easy to just flip off all mainstream comics anymore and praise the art scene. Tucker’s a respected dude in that scene, so it’s cool to see him not pander to it. Instead, he’s unbiased and real, throwing shit at everyone. I like it.


Short week. I’m tired. Peace.


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No Clever Title Needed | 12-12-2011

This was how my weekend started.

AXE – that terrible body spray that supposedly gets you laid – drove into town and set up shop for one of those “One Night Only” concerts, and Girl Talk, the music mash-up extraordinaire, was listed to play.

Girl Talk’s one of those music favorites of the moment that I have mostly been ambivalent toward, but when AXE wanted to give my friends and I a bunch of free tickets and hold the show at a small venue like 123 Pleasant Street, I couldn’t deny. Why would you deny? A free show’s a free show, no matter who it is.

And it was fun. Between the toilet paper streamers, confetti, balloons, loud music and audience members storming the stage, Girl Talk and his crew knew how to throw a party. And that’s all that’s really needed at a show of this kind where, really, a DJ is the main act. Especially in a college town. One, big party can go a long way.

If anything, it was quite the event, and it felt good to attend something exclusive like that. Those tickets weren’t easy to come by, but I managed to get lucky as I sometimes do. As for why Girl Talk came to a town in West Virginia, well, he’s from Pittsburgh, which is only an hour drive from here. At the end of his set, the man grabbed the mic and pronounced that in his early days, before even his own home town showed him any love, it was here, in old Morgantown, West Virginia, that he found an audience.

That would explain it.

photo by derek rudolph

Speaking of shows, Ty Segall will make an appearance in Morgantown soon. The show will take place on January 14th at 123 Pleasant Street, and U92-FM, the college station I’m involved with, is presenting it.

There’s a little article here if you care to learn more.

Along with Segall, my friends John Casey and Jami Calandros’ band “Best Friends” will provide the opening entertainment.

I am excited for this show. It should kick off the Spring Semester right.

It’s odd to think of the comic book industry without a Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers book in it, but I guess should get used to the thought. Whatever dirty finger you may point at this book, the run is a landmark, and even with its slumps and inconsistencies, I still would list it as one of the more interesting and probably influential super hero comics of the last twenty years. In some ways, I’m happy to see it end – less money I can invest in Marvel – but I’m also a tad sad. My entire time as a comics reader has been marked by the presence of Bendis and his Avengers, so, in some ways, this feels like the end of an era. And I think it will seem that way for many people. Maybe than rather ending the world, 2012 will instead bring rapid change. All signs are pointing toward such. Occupy to Bendis’ Avengers.

The man writes another comic though, and telling from this piece on CBR I think Bendis is quite passionate about Moon Knight. Good. I am too.

I like these quotes from the article:

“I will say that I wish ‘Moon Knight’ was doing better. I know it’s a tough market, but literally every day someone tweets me or e-mails me about our ‘Daredevil’ run and how much they liked it. I whole heartedly encourage anyone who like our ‘Daredevil’ run to pick up ‘Moon Knight.'”

“This is exactly the kind of book no matter who’s writing or drawing it that needs a lot of support from people.”

He’s pretty open in those statements. Respect. If anything, the pleadyness of it tells me the guy wants this comic to keep going. He cares, and I don’t think it’s because it would mean less money.

Also noted, much of what Bendis says in that article I’ve said myself on this very blog. So, just saying, you should be reading my posts on the series. I’m tapped in.

Anthony Bourdain on WTF with Marc Maron. I really enjoyed this episode. The whole “rush and instant satisfaction” from working in a restaurant … I’ve been there.


The Mindless Ones blog recently posted an article titled “The Theatre of The Direct Market.” For anyone at all aligned in comics and considers themselves on the “in” of the industry or whatever we call it, I suggest you take a read. It’s very interesting, and it provides a look at the direct market that cites an actual influence on content rather than just business models. Read it slow. Let it sink in. Big words about.


Alright, I’m out. If you at all like or hate these “No Clever Title Needed” posts, give me your feedback in the comments. Please. I’m thinking of doing one of these a week as a manner to express quick thoughts and link cool shit. I normally would not worry about the audience’s feelings, but in this case, these posts are kind of entirely for the audience. I don’t write these for me, necessarily. I write them to share stuff with you as well as give you a bit of a peak into my actual life.

So, yeah, comment. Peace.

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No Clever Titled Needed | 12-05-2011

If you follow my Twitter exploits, then you may already know the type of weekend I had. I probably should resort from tweeting pictures of empty bottles and dance sessions as I’m sure it only comes off as a sad attempt to look cool, but dammit, I now have an iPhone. Tweeting photos now presents itself as an option, and the sad journalistic drive inside of me tells me to document this College shit, even though it’s probably not worth documenting and only describes me as a tool.

I don’t, however, wear Tapout shirts. I promise.

Start your Monday right. Listen to this.

My dad hooked me on this track in the 4th grade. Jammed to it most of the weekend. Chad Nevett made the point on Twitter that he also digs it.

Speaking of Chad, the dude wrote a new blog piece titled “You Don’t Just Want to Break Me, You Want to Tear Me Apart” in which he discusses why he likes writing negative reviews. The comics internet is too uptight up about positivity. It’s cool to like and love comics, in my book, but Chad drives home the main point. The job of the critic is to tear shit apart. Team Comics needs to realize that. Read Chad’s post.

You can now blast the Trent Reznor, Karen O cover of “Immigrant Song.” The movie about tattooed girls will be out soon, and the soundtrack is up for pre-order. But, you don’t need to pre-order. Wired has six tracks streaming for free. If you want your own precious copy for the iPod, though, you can buy “Immigrant Song” for a buck on iTunes. I just did that. I also dig “Oraculum” a bit.


Tucker Stone writes good shit. One of the more exciting voices on the comics internet. May I suggest some recent examples to prove it?

Woodshed: 11/28/11
The Comics Journal Thirty-Eight
Comics of the Weak: Just Saving Myself Til I Get Raped

You should read each of those, but if you’re short on time, make the first in the list the priority.


If you’re a Savage Dragon reader, then you must follow this Twitter account.


This would be the current controversy in my area of residence: fracking.

Noted as a method of natural gas drilling, fracking has had Morgantown, West Virginia up in arms over the past year. City Council’s all about banning that shit, but state government is cool with it. Jobs. Apparently. Anyway, the article talks about the process in terms of Pennsylvania and New York, but let it be known, this new power house industry even trickles down to my neck of the woods.

If anything, look at the eerie photos in the post. The one with the fighting/playing dogs kind of creeps me out for reasons I can’t explain.

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